Introducing Author Rebecca Jane Lynch

Posted on May 20, 2013. Filed under: Author Interviews, Book Reviews, Fiction, L.Leander Reviews and Interviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

This week I’m delighted to introduce an up and coming author who has written the young adult fantasy series Satu Country.  You’ll see by her answers to the questions below that she is dedicated to her work.  You can read my review of Coming Tides here.

Interview of Author Rebecca Jane Lynch

By L.Leander

What is the favorite character you have written and why?

Kano Shadow is my favorite so far. He’s cool, strong, dark, and a real mystery. He’s the type of person I love to follow in a story, but I’d probably be afraid of him if he were real.

Are you self-published or traditionally published and why?

I am actually both. I have been published in the anthology Swimming Blind by Athanatos Ministries, which was traditionally published by the Athanatos Publishing Group. I’ve also published two books through Publish America. More recently though, I’ve settled on self-publishing through Lulu.com, and I really enjoy it. I enjoy that I have full control over the formatting and cover design of my book. Best of all, Lulu is free–which is great for a new author.

What did you want to be when you grew up?  Did you realize that dream?

Well, when I was little I always wanted to be three things simultaneously: an author, movie director, and an actress. So far I’m only one of those.

Explain your creative process.  Pantser?  Outliner?

I am definitely an outliner. I have dozens of documents on my computer storing plot ideas and extremely detailed character information. I always have a general idea of what I want to happen in a story before I begin writing. Usually as I go along though, random ideas come to me and I add them to the story. That’s especially true with a lot of the humor in my books–that is rarely planned.

How do you come up with ideas for your writing projects?

Sometimes ideas just come to me when I least expect it; other times I get ideas from dreams or real-life experiences. When it comes to Satu Country, the idea just came to me one day and I started writing. With other books, such as my children’s mystery story Hamster Heroes, I based the characters on real-life people and animals, but the stories themselves are entirely imaginary.

Who is your biggest supporter?  Why?

My biggest supporter is probably my friend Michelle. She’s one of my beta readers and has been encouraging me to write before I ever published my first book.

Explain a day in the life of a writer (you)

Since I only write as a hobby and my real “job” is being a full-time college student, I just grab a few moments here and there to write when I can. Usually I get my best writing done late at night after everyone else is in bed. When I’m not in classes however, I like to sit down, turn on some Skillet or Relient K music, and write.

What is your wildest dream for your writing?

To have my Satu Country books made into movies, or an anime-styled cartoon series. If I had the skills and people necessary, I’d love to make it an animated series and direct it myself.

What types of books do you like to read/authors that have inspired you?

Even though I read manga the most, I really enjoy reading fantasy books and some Christian fiction. My favorite authors are Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker. I’ve really been inspired by Ted Dekker’s writing style/tone.

What is your favorite hobby?  Does it enhance your writing?

Writing really is my favorite hobby. Besides reading and sketching, it’s my favorite thing to do. As for the second half of that question, I think it does. Practice makes perfect (or, at least, makes things better). The more I write, the more I understand myself, my writing style, and my direction for future projects.

There will be seven books total in the Satu Country series, and the first two have already been published.  This year I’m working on book three, In the Heights.  Each year I plan to self-publish one of the Satu books, which shouldn’t be too difficult since I have already written them on paper and just need to transcribe them to digital copies and edit them.

Satu Country has really been my life’s dream.  I started working on handwriting them when I was in high school.  I’d like to encourage people to read the Satu books, especially if they like young adult fiction.  The first book, Coming Tides, was the roughest one I wrote, plot-wise, because it is mostly just introducing all of the characters to the readers while trying to add enough plot to keep the story going.  The second book, Saving the Valley, is smoother.  I think the books will get better the further along the series goes.

I’m also working on my first adult fiction novel, which will be titled Thethe perceptionalist front vs 4 Perceptionalist.  It probably won’t be published until 2014 because it’s taken a backseat to the Satu books.  More information about my other books can be found on my website.

~Rebecca Jane Lynch

stcLinks where my book can be purchased: My Author Spotlight, and Amazon.

Other links: My website and the Satu Country website

Author bio: Rebecca Jane has been writing books since she was eleven years old. She first became published after winning a Christian writing contest in 2010 and had her short story “The Dissenters” published in an anthology. Since then, she has published seven books and is best known for her young adult fantasy series Satu Country

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Introducing Author Michael Murphy

Posted on May 6, 2013. Filed under: Author Interviews, Book Reviews, L.Leander Book Reviews, L.Leander Reviews and Interviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

005 What a treat we have in store for us this week.  My guest is Michael Murphy, author of Goodbye Emily.  This is a sometimes nostalgic, sometimes sad and downright funny book about returning to Woodstock and reliving the days of youth.  If you’d like to read my review click here.

Interview with Michael Murphy

By L.Leander

Where do you write?  What’s your creative space like?  

I used to write glued to my home office computer, but in the past year I’ve added a wireless keyboard to my tablet and now write in the backyard with my chickens, Michael bonds with the girls 005around the pool or patio. Freedom via technology!

What is your favorite writing tool?

As I mentioned, my tablet is a fabulous tool. In addition to writing, I can pause and check something on the internet and since my current work in process is historical fiction, that comes in handy when checking slang words in the 1930s for example.

What movie star would you pick as one of the characters in your book and why? I’ve been asked this more for my return to Woodstock novel, Goodbye Emily, than any of my previous books. I think it’s because readers often comment that it would make a great movie. Since it focuses on three baby boomers reliving their roadtrip to Woodstock, I envision Tom Hanks as Sparky, Billy Bob Thornton or Sam Elliott as Buck and William H. Macy as Josh.

006 (2)

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I always wanted to be an author. I read Gone with the Wind when I was nine. I was a geek even then, still am.

Did you realize that dream?

Just about.

Explain your creative process.  Pantser?  Outliner?

I’ve always been a seat of the pants author, but I’ve become more formalized as I’ve become more experienced. For example. I write details biographical histories for my main characters so I know how they’ll act or what they might say in a given situation or scene.

If you could only have one mode of transportation what would it be, a horse or a bicycle?  Why?

I’m not much for either, but my wife and I have a tandem bike that we dust off now and then. She still looks sweet, upon the seat of a bicycle built for two.

Do you dream about your stories?

Absolutely. Ever written about a dream? Dreaming is the most important part of my creative process. I use it as a tool. If I envision a character or scene before falling asleep, I often wake up with a vivid dream. I also tap into my subconscious on a treadmill.

What’s your favorite theme park?

Definitely Disneyland.

Why?

It’s the happiest place on earth!

Are you a reader?  I’m an avid reader.

I write the type of books I love reading, mostly (but not limited to) mystery/suspense with a lot of humor. The master being Nelson DeMille.

Michael says:

My goal in writing Goodbye Emily was to portray sixty-somethings in a realistic manner instead of “get off my lawn” clichés. By realistic, I mean, funny, talented, sexually active and optimistic about the future. From the reviews so far, I think I’ve succeeded.

IMG_0http://www.amazon.com/Goodbye-Emily-ebook/dp/B00A8IYL2C

www.mjmurphy.com

www.goodbyeemily.com

http://blog.mjmurphy.com/

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Introducing Author Lizak Strahm

Posted on April 15, 2013. Filed under: Book Reviews, L.Leander Book Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

simonChildren’s authors hold a special place in my heart.  I loved reading to my son and daughter as they were growing up and was always on the lookout for good material to share with them.  There are few authors who are able to entertain the adults who read and the children who listen to the books and stories designed for them.  Lizak Strahm is a writer who pleases both in his children’s book Charlie Learns to Fly.  If you’d like to read my review of the book click here.

 The illustrations in this book and his upcoming book, Danny and the Dinosaurs, are not to be missed.  Look throughout this interview for awesome illustrations from the new book Danny and the Dinosaurs, available very soon on Amazon.

Interview of Author Lizak Strahm

by L.Leander

Where do you write?  Whats your creative space like?

I write in a small office surrounded by books, notes, scraps of paper, more notes and packets of cookies.

My computer monitor is facing the window, so when I need a bit of creative inspiration I just gaze out into the sky. That always seems to get the creative juices flowing

If it doesn’t, I just have another cookie!dino1

What is your favorite writing tool?

Hmm… that’s a difficult question to answer. I don’t really use any tools apart from my imagination and my keyboard. I don’t use software for ideas or to organize my writing. I guess I’m a bit old-fashioned. Once I have the plot outlined then I just sit down and write.

What movie star would you pick as one of the characters in your book and why?

I’d choose Jack Nicholson because he can portray villains really well. In my latest children’s book, Danny and the Dinosaurs there is a villainous character called Professor Ceratops who is completely mad and who wants to imprison all the dinosaurs in a zoo. He’s the archetypal villain, and I think Jack Nicholson would be able to pull him off to a tee.

dino2What did you want to be when you grew up?  Did you realize that dream?

I always wanted to be a writer. I was writing short stories in my spare time ever since I was about eight or nine. Then life kinda got in the way and writing was put on the back burner. I only really returned to it when I had more spare time.

I suppose the real ‘dream’ would be to actually earn enough money from writing to make it a full-time job. But I’m no where near that point yet. But I live in hope!

Explain your creative process.  Pantser?  Outliner? 

Like I said, I don’t use software. I just outline the plot of the story on a piece of paper, then write it. I’m a very simple writer. Software often makes things more difficult than it needs to be.

I had a writer friend who always used to plan out everything in some writing application. He made important notes in it, organized his plots in it and then wrote his novel in it. Then, half way through the process the software application crashed and he couldn’t open it again! It took him several weeks of anxiety and despair before he found some tech wizard to rescue all his data for him.dino3

If you could only have one mode of transportation what would it be, a horse or a bicycle?  Why?

A bicycle, for the very simple logistical reason that there is no room in my apartment for a horse. Plus, the lifts don’t often work.

From a purely transportational perspective, I’d choose the bicycle because it keeps you fit and isn’t in the habit of eject foul-smelling substances behind it when you’re out and about.

Do you dream about your stories?  Ever written about a dream

No. My dreams are far too boring to turn into stories.

dino4What were you like in high school?  Class clown?  Nerd?  Cheerleader type?

I suppose a bit of a class clown.

Whats your favorite theme park?  Why?  (If youve never been, which one would you like to visit and why?)

I live in England and probably the best theme park is in a place called Blackpool, which is a sea-side resort in the North of the country. It has a theme park called The Pleasure Beach and I love it. It has the UK’s tallest and fastest roller coaster called The Big One. I could spend all day on it!

Are you a reader?  What types of books do you like best?  What author(s)?dino5

Of course. If I had to pick one genre as my favorite, I’d choose horror. I love the books by Peter James, James Herbert and, of course, Stephen King.But I also like comic science fiction. The Hichhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy is my all time favorite. Genius, sheer genius…

Readers, be sure to leave Lizak a comment below.  And be sure to check out his delightful children’s books!

charlieThe Day Charlie Learned to Fly

Coming Soon!  Danny and the Dinosaurs – look for it on Amazon soon!dinocover

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Introducing Author Roy Murry

Posted on April 8, 2013. Filed under: Author Interviews, L.Leander Reviews and Interviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Roy MurryI’ve been waiting to do this interview for a while now and I’m very excited to present to you an author who has written perhaps one of the most interesting tales I’ve ever read.  The Audubon Caper is a work of fiction based on actual events and the story starts at rapid speed and escalates from there.  If you’d like to read my review of the book click here.  No matter what type of material you read you’ll definitely be amazed at the idea that this is a true story and  happened in the USA.  Without going into too much detail I’ll just tell you this is definitely one of my favorite books and if you haven’t already indulged you should run right out and buy a copy.  You definitely will not be disappointed.

Interview of Author Roy Murry

by L.Leander

Where do you write?  What’s your creative space like?

A quiet room anywhere I can plug in my Laptop.  I need a place with no distractions.

What is your favorite writing tool?

#1 Tool: My Brain. A good night’s sleep with no appointments in the morning is very important to me before I write.  I place an outline in my mind the night before I write and fill in the blanks when I start writing around 4:00 a.m. in the morning.  Other than my mind, I have three books near by The World Almanac, The Merriam-Webster Dictionary, and their Thesaurus.

What movies star would you pick as one of the characters in your book and why?

I have never thought of my book as movie material.  Any young actor in their late twenties would do fine.  I think any good actor could pull off the main character’s traits.

What did you want to be when you grew up?  Did you realize that dream?

Well, I didn’t dream of being a writer.  I got drafted into the US Army, before I could decide what I wanted to be.  As a Green Beret in Vietnam, I felt like I reached a goal R. Murry circa 1970very few could achieve and live to tell about it.

When I returned home from the war, I reached another goal, not a dream, of graduating from college where my America Literature professor told me I could write after grading my assigned assessments of great and not so great American Writers.  At that point, I thought, not dreamt, I will be a writer someday.

Explain your creative process.

I outline with sentences what I will write.  After that, I put my mind to work at each step.  Sleep on it and write.  I do this with the reviews I write for my blog.

One or two sentences, while reading a book, and then put my brain to work. Then I write.  Might sound too easy, but it works for me.  If I’m not happy with the first draft, I repeat process again, again, and again if need be.

If you could only have one mode of transportation, what would it be a horse or a bicycle?

Neither.     I’m a walker.  Therefore, I’d rather walk, thank you.

Do you dream about your stories?

I don’t call it dreaming.  As I said, I put my brain to work.  That’s why I have one.

What were you like in high school?

I was an introvert until I got to know you.  Then I became an extrovert.  With friends and family, I was fun to be with.  But if they screwed with my reading time, they knew they were in trouble.

What’s your favorite theme park?  Why?

Disney World and Epcot Center, Orlando, Florida.  The main reason was to see the happy faces on my children.  That was years ago.  In a few years, I’ll take my grandchildren.  For me, I liked adventure land and the restaurants at Epcot.   Traveling is a theme park for me.  I do all the itineraries, etc.

Are you a reader?  What types of books do you like best?  What author(s)?

Read?!  That’s all I do.  Read, write, and play golf is my life.

Past: Ralph Waldo Emerson; Henry David Thoreau, et al

Near past: Edgar Allen Poe; Arthur Conan Doyle, et al

Present: Dan Brown; James Patterson, et al

For my blog: #children to #erotica, and all in between

I like mysteries.   Who-done-it’s I love to solve before the end of the book.  Since

starting my blog  http://www.conniesbrother.blogspot.com,

my reading has been eclectic.

Links:

My book – The Audubon Capertac

Amazon: http://amzn.to/MGxfR7

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/PWnA8n

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/roy.murry.7 

Twitter: @roylmurry425

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Introducing Author JT Sather

Posted on March 27, 2013. Filed under: Author Interviews, L.Leander Reviews and Interviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

7685942This week it’s my pleasure to share a writer with you who is very unique.  While many of us whine and moan when the bottom drops out of our lives, this author used a very different tactic.  I think JT Sather has had just about everything happen that can go wrong but he chose to face adversity with humor and optimism.  We’ve had a couple of good chats about my home state of Michigan and its beautiful upper peninsula, as well!  So, without further ado, let me introduce JT Sather and his book How to Survive When the Bottom Drops Out.  You can read my review of the book here.

Interview with JT Sather

by L.Leander

What is your favorite pastime (other than writing)? (you can only pick one) and why?

I love to build sandcastles, or at least my version of sandcastles.  Time on the beach is very relaxing for me.  I like to find a secluded spot so I can work undisturbed.  It takes anywhere from two to four hours to make a masterpiece, and it’s tough when there’s a bunch of kiddies running about.

Who are you as a writer?

I’m the same man that I am in regular life.  What I write about is non-fiction.  I don’t have to immerse myself into a fantasy world, my reality is crazy enough!

What are your thoughts on the Indie Publishing movement?

I think much of it’s terribly disorganized.  I’m happy to be a part of it, but I wish someone would have held my hand when I started.  When I first published, the book was terribly riddled with spelling mistakes.  When I finally realized this (two months later) I felt awful.  If people are going to pay their hard-earned money for a product, I want it to be quality.  Thankfully I have a publisher now, and it’s been edited by a professional.

Have you ever ghostwritten?  Would you?  Why?

I have been approached to ghost write a memoir for a friend of mine.  I’m happy to do it, but it’s very slow go.  He’s 2000 miles away from me, and he’s a very busy guy.  It’s difficult to pin him down to answer the many questions I have for him.

What is your favorite book of all time?  Why? 

I’ve only read a handful in my life.  One that stuck in my head was Fear and Loathing. I really enjoyed Hunter’s story telling skills.

Do you believe writers need a degree to be successful?  Why or why not?

A degree? Absolutely not.  What they need to possess is story telling skills.  Everyone has an imagination, but it takes a skill to transfer it to paper.

You are camping in a tent in the woods.  A loud roar happens outside the flap to the tent.  What do you do?

I would scream like a ten year old girl, they hate that!

What is your greatest asset?  Why?

I’d have to say my experience.  I’ve been through more than most,  and the lessons that I’ve learned have served me well.

What do you treasure most on earth?

My freedom.  I lost it for a while, and I missed it terribly.  I have no plans to let it out of my sight again.

What did you like to do as a child?  Favorite games, pastimes, friends, etc.

I was one of those tree climbers.  Not your ordinary tree climber, I was that kid who would climb to the top of a fifty foot pine tree and cling to the very top, swaying in the breeze, and survey the landscape.  That was my first taste of real freedom, and set me on the path of daredevil mayhem.

What is the single-most important thing that has happened to you thus-far on your writing journey?

Getting a contract from Inknbeans Press to publish my work.  I’m out of my realm in the writing business, and it’s nice to have someone at my side, finally.

How important is being successful as a writer to you?

It’s become the single most important thing to my future.  As an unemployed construction worker, I have no desire to go back to it.  My body getting tired, as well as damaged.  I hope to continue this for the rest of my days.

The genie is going to grant you three wishes.  What are they?

Peace, love, and happiness.  Anything else that I could ask for would only bring me to these conclusions anyway.

You get one day to spend any way you want with whomever you want. Describe the day (money is no object)

I want to take my mother out for a boat ride on Lake Mead.  I’ve done it a thousand times, and never had the chance to take her out there.  She lives in the upper peninsula of Michigan, and doesn’t get out much.  I’ve had some really great times on that lake.  We’d start the day off at nine in the morning, and depart from the southern part of Boulder Basin.  Lake Mead Marina is filled with beautiful boats of all kinds.  Speedboats, sailboats and yachts are lined up like toys in a pond.  Then it’s off to Sandy cove, where I can light the bbq and have a dandy lunch.  A relaxing day spent cruising on the water is just what my mother needs.  At seventy-four years old, she never seems to have enough time to just enjoy herself.  When the day is done, I’ll tie the boat up in the slip and we can have a cocktail in the Captain’s lounge.  That would be a great day.

Who or what were your main inspirations for choosing a writing career?

I’ve always enjoyed telling stories.  It’s the highlight of my night, whoever I’m hanging out with.  I’ve had a lot of friends over the years tell me “You need to write a book!”  Well, I finally did.  If the economy hadn’t crashed when it did, I probably would never had done it.  I never had the time before.  When things were good, I worked 80 hrs a day, and then some.  Time was a commodity that I never had.  Now, I have far too much!  Oh well, better finish the next one, before time runs out.

Thank you, JT for being my guest this week.  Readers, be sure to leave a comment to show JT you have enjoyed his featured spot.  And, if you’d like to find out more about author J.T. Sather check out the links below.  The Book Junkies page includes many pictures, including those of his sand sculptures.

http://www.bookjunkiesjournal.com/jt-sather.html

howtosurvivehttp://www.amazon.com/Survive-When-Bottom-Drops-Volume/dp/1479152250/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1364329421&sr=8-1&keywords=jt+sather

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/286380

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Introducing Author LA Jones

Posted on March 11, 2013. Filed under: Author Interviews, L.Leander Book Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

lajones_1I love Mondays because I get to meet some intriguing authors each week.  This week my guest is LA Jones, author of Tales of Aradia The Last Witch.  You can read my review of the book here.  Be sure to leave a comment below for a chance to win an autographed copy of the book!

Interview with LA Jones

by L.Leander

What is your favorite pastime (other than writing)? (you can only pick one) and why?

Shopping. I love shopping. Going out and checking the new imaginative styles. Hanging out at the book stores and talking with the clerks. It’s my favorite pastime.

Who are you as a writer?

In all honesty, I am a person who has ASD (autism spectrum disorder) who is trying to become a role model and inspiration to people who also have this disorder.

What are your thoughts on the Indie Publishing movement?

My thought is like many new movements it takes to time to flower or flourish. I am actually happy about the indie author movement because it puts more power in to the author’s hands. Too long has the publisher held power in the relationship between writer and publisher. Publisher and their clients (writers) should be partners. This indie author movement is making sure of that.

Have you ever ghostwritten?  Would you?  Why?

No. I just wouldn’t feel comfortable with using someone else’s identity and idea to write a book.

What is your favorite book of all time?  Why? 

Matilda by Roald Dahl because the story of a little girl over coming such impossible odds has always been so inspiring.

Do you believe writers need a degree to be successful?  Why or why not? No. I believe degrees don’t guarantee or signify anything. In the end determination is what gets things done. I have always been a believer of self-education. What you learn on your own time is what you use in your life.  

You are camping in a tent in the woods.  A loud roar happens outside the flap to the tent.  What do you do?

I stay very still and try not to irritate whatever the hell it is that made that noise. I also try to hide a weapon under my pillow just in case.

What is your greatest asset?  Why?

My creativity and my ability to be so open-minded. I welcome criticism and suggestions because they help me to be a better writer. My creativity because it helps me think of new things to write and develop.

What do you treasure most on earth? My family and my friends.

What did you like to do as a child?  Favorite games, pasttimes, friends, etc. I like to make up games and watch TV. Most of all, I loved to read.

What is the single-most important thing that has happened to you thus-far on your writing journey?

I think what has helped me most of all was meeting my editor Harrison R. Bradlow. He has helped my series reach its true potential and opened my eyes to all sorts of possibilities.

How important is being successful as a writer to you? Very. I want to be able to live off my writing and help entertain people with my stories. In addition to inspiring others.

The genie is going to grant you three wishes.  What are they?

One) my book series to become the next big franchise. Two) to be able to live off my writing. Three) to be able to become the next J.K. Rowling. Meaning an inspiration to my fellow authors and such.

You get one day to spend any way you want with whomever you want.  Describe the day (money is no object)

Meeting some of the authors who helped inspire me to reach my potential. Namely, buying plane tickets to visit RJ Palmer and her husband and taking her family out to Disneyland or something. Traveling to Florida to meet L.A. Sherman another author who has inspired me. Most of all, traveling to Las Vegas and taking my editor and his family to Disney World.

Who or what were your main inspirations for choosing a writing career?

My family mostly. They have always loved the fact that I am an author and are very proud of me for being able to publish my books. I don’t think I would have gotten this far without their help.

Editor and partner in my series: Harrison R. Bradlow.la_1

http://www.harrisonbradlow.com/index.html

Readers: Thanks for coming and don’t forget to leave a comment in the comments section for a chance to win an autographed copy of the first book in the series.  Winner will be notified on Monday, March 18.

vol3
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Introducing Author Troy Lewis

Posted on January 28, 2013. Filed under: Author Interviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

book_photoThis week my guest is Troy Lewis.  Troy has written a remarkable book called Another Second Chance.  What would you do if you were faced with a disease that would be certain death unless you could find a donor?  What if that donor turned out not to be able to help you?  The author has gone through just such an experience and has chosen to share his journey with the world.  You can read my review of the book here.

Interview of Troy Lewis

by L.Leander

Where do you write?  What’s your creative space like?

I like writing in, what I call “my writing cave”! My finished basement.. As I walk.the kittysteps to my “Cave”, it’s as if I am entering a different world. There is a peacefulness down there that can’t be explained. You are surrounded by memories on the walls from moments in the past. And occasionally a furry feline will sunder onto your lap to see what you’re writing

What is your favorite writing tool?

I prefer my laptop to write with.. But I love to listen to Christian music for inspiration. It helps put me in the mood to inspire others when I am inspired myself. It lights a fire in my heart, then to my brain, which explodes out of my fingertips into the story.

What movie star would you pick as one of the characters in your book and why?

Since my book is an autobiography, it doesn’t seem appropriate to choose my character. So I will get my self in trouble with my better half and choose her character….  I would have to say Jenny Garth would play my wife, since she has been told there is a strong resemblance.

What did you want to be when you grew up?  Did you realize that dream?

I wanted to be a Professional athlete. Uh… That didn’t work out.

Explain your creative process.  Pantser?  Outliner? 

It starts out as an outline, then moves around a bit when the ideas start to roll. Pretty soon I’m flying by the seat of my pants. So I guess, a little of both.

If you could only have one mode of transportation what would it be, a horse or a bicycle?  Why?

That would be a Bicycle since I’ve never ridden a horse. Except at the carnival, but I don’t think that counts… Plus I love riding bike and I don’t have to feed it.

Do you dream about your stories?  Ever written about a dream?

I have day dreamed about stories, but not had dreams at night about them. There have been moments where I have dreamed about people who I have met. Since I write nonfiction, that would probably be a “yes” on the “Ever written about a dream” question.

What were you like in high school?  Class clown?  Nerd?  Cheerleader type?

I was just an average guy, I was quiet and shy to those I didn’t know well. To the ones I did, I was loud and out going. If you were my friend, you were a close friend.

What’s your favorite theme park?  Why?  (If you’ve never been, which one would you like to visit and why?)

Cedar Point!! The roller coaster capital of the world! Not because I love roller coasters, they scare me to death! (Except the smaller ones.) It’s because I live a half hour away from the park!

Are you a reader?  What types of books do you like best?  What author(s)?

I am not a big reader due to time. When I do read, it is typically for knowledge or inspiration. I love Max Lucado books!

Is there anything you’d like to add?

Six months ago Jan. 28 on July 28, I commemorated my two year anniversary of my Second Chance at life! I wanted to share with you the most visited blog post I’ve written. http://wwwanothersecondchanceorg.blogspot.com/2012/07/walk-with-me-and-see-what-difference.html

On that day I ran my first 5k for team Ohio at the Transplant Games of America (on my 2 year anniversary!) When I arrived to the event and made my way to the starting line… There was my transplant surgeon and his wife ready to run with me…  One of the most memorable moments of my life! I found out a couple of days later that I had finished fourth in my age group (40-49) and just missed the bronze medal.

Thank you Troy for a very interesting interview.  Readers, be sure to leave comments here for the author.

3d_book_coverPurchase Another Second Chance by Troy Lewis at these links:

Amazon Kindle

http://smarturl.it/tj18ra

Nook

http://www.lulu.com/shop/troy-lewis/another-second-chance-gods-story/ebook/product-20256683.html

Signed copies from Troy’s website www.another2ndchance.org

Christianbook.com

http://www.christianbook.com/another-second-chance-gods-story/troy-lewis/9780983360773/pd/360772?item_code=WW&netp_id=1057927&event=ESRCG&view=details

Other places to find Troy Lewis:

Troy Lewis website 

Troy Lewis Blog 

Troy Lewis on Twitter 

Troy Lewis on Facebook

Troy Lewis Bio

Troy Lewis is a recent walking miracle (transplant recipient), speaker, and author.  He resides in Northwest Ohio with his lovely wife Stephanie and two beautiful daughters Corrine and Allison.
He loves sharing “Wow God stories” to inspire and encourage others.
For nine years Troy had played the part of Jesus Christ in a Passion drama, but that was only in preparation of what God had in store for him next. Since his near death experience, he now shares this amazing “Testimonial Message” of Hope at Churches all over! It has been called “God’s story”.
He has been interviewed on TV, Radio, and featured in media articles.
To learn more about Troy and his story, go to www.anothersecondchance.org
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Introducing Author Angella Graff

Posted on December 31, 2012. Filed under: Author Interviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

angella

It’s my pleasure to introduce author Angella Graff in this weeks feature.  She is definitely going places.  I think you’ll agree when you read her book “The Awakening (The Judas Curse)” that this author is cut from a different mold.  Not many are able or willing to tackle the subject matter she does.  She’s a mix of Dan Brown and Robert Ludlum, and she makes the reader want more.  You can read my review of  Angella’s gripping novel, The Awakening (The Judas Curse) here.  The idea of using ancient gods and Biblical characters is not new, but in Ms. Graff’s capable hands they take on a life of their own and the reader is hooked from the first page.  This is urban fantasy at its best!

Interview of Angella Graff

by L.Leander

  1. Where do you write?  What’s your creative space like?

I almost always write in my room.  I have a laptop, but I write more comfortably on my desktop computer.  I find myself envious of people who write long-hand, and I miss it from time to time, but my brain moves so quickly that when I attempt to write it out with pen and paper I get frustrated.  My room is quiet, though, and a place I consider my own space.

  1. What is your favorite writing tool?

Probably my computer!  That, and conversations with other people, if you want to call that a ‘tool’.  I find myself constantly inspired by the stories of people around me, and I’m always thinking of ways I can incorporate that into my story.  Whether it’s an event, a personality trait, or even someone’s habit.  I don’t think I would be able to write as much as I do without experiencing life and the people around me.

  1. What movie star would you pick as one of the characters in your book and why?

I want to say Benedict Cumberbatch, because let’s face it, I’m mad for him.  It’s a problem, haha!  Honestly though, my husband and I have fun trying to “cast” actors into my book.  I did actually write a character after an actor, though.  The character of Greg/Asclepius was somewhat modeled after Harry Groener.  He played the Mayor in the show Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  I just adored the way he could swap between good-old-fashioned guy and evil trying-to-take-over-the-world guy.  I absolutely LOVE him.

  1. What did you want to be when you grew up?  Did you realize that dream?

I wanted to be a lot of things when I grew up.  Egyptologist, Archaeologist, Marine Biologist (until I learned it required biology, go figure haha!) but the one thing I always wanted to be, and the one thing I always came back to was writer.  And though I’m not famous or well-known (yet, haha) I have realized that dream.  I’m on my second published novel, and working myself into a series, so I’d say that if my dream hasn’t been officially “realized” yet, I’m definitely on my way!

  1. Explain your creative process.  Pantser?  Outliner?

Truthfully I don’t have a specific process to speak of.  Outlines distract me from what I want to say.  I’m a big fan of letting my writing grow organically.  I feel that it makes for more realistic characterizations of people, at least for me.  When I try and outline someone or something, it sort of gets this forced feel to it, and so I rely heavily on beta-readers (and my husband) to make sure that I’m keeping the story in line.  I tend to write a few pages of the beginning, then I start with the meat of the story in the middle and write to the end.  When I get there, I head to the beginning and patch it up, bit like quilting, actually.  I find it works well for me.

  1. If you could only have one mode of transportation what would it be, a horse or a bicycle?  Why?

Probably a bicycle.  I may get flamed for this, but I’m not really an animal person haha.  Although oddly, horses love my husband, and I have pictures of a horse giving him kisses to prove it!!  I had one pretty bad injury, a concussion, on a bicycle when I was young, so I was afraid to get on one for years.  Then last year while my husband and I were at the beach for our anniversary we rented bicycles and rode up and down the boardwalk for hours.  I realized how much I missed biking and would love to get one… once we live in an area that isn’t hazardous to cyclists!

  1. Do you dream about your stories?  Ever written about a dream?

Yes to both.  I’ve been inspired by dreams before, mainly for short stories.  When I’m in full on writing mode, when my characters and plot have a monopoly on my consciousness, I tend to dream about them.  It helps from time to time when I feel stuck.

  1. What were you like in high school?  Class clown?  Nerd?  Cheerleader type?

Oh dear.  Hah.  Uh… well… I was more the Marilyn Manson type.  Eh heh.  I wore a huge black faux-fur coat, torn fishnets, black skirts, Doc Martin’s and my hair was usually some combo of blue, pink, bleach-white and black.  I did the crazy eye make-up and black lipstick.  The whole deal.  Please don’t tell my kids, haha, I want to have some leverage when I want to tell them they aren’t leaving the house dressed like THAT.

  1. What’s your favorite theme park?  Why?  (If you’ve never been, which one would you like to visit and why?)

I’m not a big theme park girl.  I don’t like rides, or carnival games much.  I used to, but it’s just not my favorite.  I’d love to visit the Harry Potter theme park because I’m a huge Potter nerd.  And last year my hubby and I went to Sea World which was fun, but not nearly as fun as I remembered from when I was a kid.

  1. Are you a reader?  What types of books do you like best?  What author(s)?

I am a reader.  I read literally anything for my book review blog, and have found some really fantastic books… like Miss Leander’s INZARED, which I plan to re-read here in the near future.  When I’m choosing for myself, I almost always go with non-fiction Theology.  I studied theology in school, and I always go back that route.  My favorite theology author is Elaine Pagels, who writes some fantastic pieces about the Gnostic Gospels and some of the other Gnostic traditions.  It’s part of what influences me in my series.

Angella Graff’s Bio: Angella Graff lives in sunny Tucson, Az with her husband, three kids, two cats and one beta fish.  When she’s not writing or book editing, she’s either at a kid scouting event, yoga class, or tearing through some BBC show on Netflix, and possibly simultaneously and repeatedly pinning pictures of Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Hiddleston on her pinterest boards.

Thank you Angella for your candid interview and the nice words about  my book.  (I promise, readers, I didn’t pay her to say that!  lol).  If you haven’t read The Awakening it’s something you’ll definitely want to put on your list for 2013.  The book is very different, with memorable characters and a subject matter that not many people tackle today.  I found it engrossing – couldn’t put it down.  That, in my mind, is a great read!

If you’d like to find out more about Angella Graff here are some places you can find her.

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Introducing Author Myra Johnson

Posted on December 24, 2012. Filed under: L.Leander Reviews and Interviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Myra Johnson 2012 smallIt’s Christmas Eve and what better way to celebrate the holidays than snuggling in with a good Christmas-themed novel.  My guest today is Myra Johnson, bestselling author of One Imperfect Christmas.  You can read my review here.

Myra has created a protagonist you either love or want to give a good swift kick in the seat of the pants.  She’s not all that different from most of us, really.  But that’s all I’ll say – you’ll have to read the book for yourself to find out more. Be sure to check out the book trailer for One Imperfect Christmas – the link is below – I’m sure you’ll enjoy it!

So, sit back and enjoy my interview with Myra and above all, Happy Holidays everyone!

Interview of Myra Johnson

by L.Leander

Where do you write?  What’s your creative space like?

My office is a converted upstairs guest room, and it’s pretty much wall-to-wall desk, filing cabinets, bookshelves, and bulletin boards. Oh, and a treadmill, which has a makeshift desk for my laptop so I can walk while I check email (don’t ask how that’s working for me!). I do most of the busy work of writing in the mornings while sitting at my regular desk overlooking our woodsy backyard. Then after lunch I usually move to my comfy Ikea chair and ottoman, where I open up my work-in-progress and spend 4-5 hours in focused writing time.

What is your favorite writing tool?

Not counting my trusty MacBook Pro, I’d have to say Scrivener writing software. I love being able to keep the entire manuscript plus character photos, notes, and research material all in one place and easily accessible. Note card view allows me to see scenes and chapters at a glance, and there’s even a word count meter that lets me know whether I’m staying on track toward my deadline. Once the book is complete, I can compile the document as an RTF file and then convert to Word for sending to my agent or editor.

What movie star would you pick as one of the characters in your book and why?

I recently watched a Christmas movie starring the perfect actors for One Imperfect Christmas. I’d cast Teri Polo as Natalie and Paul Essiembre as Daniel. They’re amazingly close in both looks and personality to how I pictured my characters as I wrote the book. (Hallmark folks, anytime you’d like to pick up the movie rights, just let me know, okay?)

What did you want to be when you grew up?  Did you realize that dream?

As a child I always wanted to become an actress or a writer. So yes, I’d say I have fulfilled the best part of that dream. As a novelist, I live out the stories in my head as both “actor” and “director.” Not to mention I can go to work in my jammies if I want to!

Explain your creative process.  Pantser?  Outliner? 

Definitely pantser! Once I have the germ of an idea in mind, I start imagining the characters’ current situations and backstories. Finding representative photos always helps. Usually I get a visual of an opening scene, and that kicks off the story. I might have two or three major turning points in mind, along with a general idea of the ending. But how we get from point A to point B to point C is always a journey of discovery.

If you could only have one mode of transportation what would it be, a horse or a bicycle?  Why?

If I could have the means to feed and care for a horse, that would be my choice. I’ve always loved horses, though I didn’t get many chances to ride until my mid-40s. While volunteering at a therapeutic riding center, I met some wonderful “horsey friends” willing to share their horses so I could take dressage lessons—what a thrill! There’s nothing quite like the bond between a horse and rider. We moved from that area several years later, and since then I have really missed the opportunity to ride. Unfortunately, circumstances have never come together in a way that would allow me to have my own horse.

Do you dream about your stories?  Ever written about a dream?

Actually, the idea for One Imperfect Christmas first came to me in a dream. We’d been watching a bunch of sappy Christmas movies on TV, and those were playing through my head all season. Then one night I awoke with dream images of a couple about to celebrate 50 Christmases together, only something stood in their way. It took a little imagining and playing the “what if” game to come up with the right characters and plot, and the story went through several incarnations before reaching its published form.

What were you like in high school?  Class clown?  Nerd?  Cheerleader type?

I’d have to say nerd. I was an A student (graduated 5th in my class), but I was certainly not popular—very much a loner, the last kid picked for teams, never had a real date, much less a boyfriend, didn’t go to prom. Very sad, yes. But that didn’t stop me from not only meeting the guy of my dreams (we’ve been married 40 years now) but landing the career of my dreams as a published novelist. I’m also blessed to have so many wonderful writer friendships now, tops among them the ladies of Seekerville.

What’s your favorite theme park?  Why?  (If you’ve never been, which one would you like to visit and why?)

I’m not much of a daredevil, so I don’t visit theme parks for the roller-coaster rides. Give me something fun and “gentle” like Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean river trip or the Haunted Mansion. I loved Epcot, too. We finally made it there a few years ago when RWA held their conference in Orlando. Visiting all the different “countries” was fascinating!

Are you a reader?  What types of books do you like best?  What author(s)?

I love to read. My pleasure reading is usually during the last hour before bedtime, and my favorite books ever are The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien. For the past several years I’ve mostly read inspirational fiction by favorite author acquaintances including Carla Stewart, Julie Lessman, Mary Connealy, Janet Dean, Cara Lynn James—too many to name! When I need a change of pace, I’ll try one of my husband’s techno-thrillers. Clive Cussler is always fun!

Myra’s bio: Award-winning author Myra Johnson is a Texan through and through, but she has no regrets about recently making the move to the more temperate climate of the Carolinas. She and her husband of over 40 years are the proud parents of two beautiful daughters who, along with their godly husbands, have huge hearts for ministry. Four rambunctious grandsons and two precious granddaughters take up another big chunk of Myra’s heart. The Johnsons also enjoy spoiling their very pampered oversized lapdogs. Myra’s first novel from Abingdon Press is One Imperfect Christmas (September 2009). She has also written contemporary romances for Heartsong Presents.

Thank you, Myra for a candid and interesting interview.  Readers, please leave comments for Myra – she’d love to chat with you!  Listed below are some places you can find Myra Johnson and check out her other books.

Find Myra on the Web:

www.MyraJohnson.com

www.seekerville.net

www.myra.typepad.com

www.facebook.com/MyraJohnsonAuthor

www.Twitter.com/MyraJohnson

www.Twitter.com/TheGrammarQueen

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1391761.Myra_Johnson

One Imperfect Christmas-coverOrder One Imperfect Christmas online at:

Amazon (print version)

Amazon (Kindle version)

Cokesbury

Christianbook.com

Watch the Book Trailer for

One Imperfect Christmas:

http://tinyurl.com/cec2fpj

 Want to see more books by Myra Johnson?  Her latest release, A Horseman’s Hope, is now available for preorder here:  Amazon

HorsemansHopeCover

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Introducing Author Barbara Watkins

Posted on December 17, 2012. Filed under: Author Interviews, L.Leander Book Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Barbs professional pic2I am so happy to have as my featured author this week the incredible Barbara Watkins.  She’s definitely got a lot of thrills and chills in store for her readers.  I’ve read Barbara’s short stories in a book she and Betty Dravis co-authored – Six Pack of Blood, but until I read Hollowing Screams I didn’t realize her capacity to hold a reader in suspense and make them squirm for hours on end.  You can read my review of Hollowing Screams here.

Interview with Barbara Watkins

by L.Leander

Where do you write? What’s your creative space like?

I have a room in my house that my husband and I converted into an office space. On the corner of my desk sits an old antique Royal typewriter,

a gift from my dear mother, and several horror posters adorn the walls including a poster from The Vampire Guardian Angel series, courtesy of horror Director/Producer, Lia Scott Price.

What is your favorite writing tool?

My just about worn out Dell computer and outdated Microsoft word processor! LOL)family pics from phone 801_1

What movie star would you pick as one of the characters in your book and why?  Nicole Kidman would be perfect to play the role of ‘Shannon’ – her performance in the paranormal flick, ‘The Others,’ absolutely blew my mind. Her portrayal of complex characters, along with the fact that she fits the description of ‘Shannon’ makes this actress my first pick.

What did you want to be when you grew up? Did you realize that dream?

I always thought that I would like to be an actress – that didn’t happen. However, I get to play make-believe and act in various roles every time I create a character – guess you could say that I have realized my dream!

Explain your creative process. Pantser? Outliner?

Um, I guess you could say that I’m more of a fly by the seat-of-my-pants plotter. It’s not like I don’t know where my story is going though – I just tend to let my characters lead me there.

If you could only have one mode of transportation what would it be, a horse or a bicycle? Why?

I’d have to say a horse, cause I’m too lazy to pedal a bike! LOL)

family pics from phone 802_1Do you dream about your stories? Ever written about a dream?

When I was quite young and would have nightmares, I often wrote them down in a journal. In fact, I have incorporated several of my nightmares into my writings – makes for some horrifying tales!

What were you like in high school? Class clown? Nerd? Cheerleader type?

Um, I guess you would say I was more of a class clown – definitely not a nerd or cheerleader type. I did have a habit of talking to my classmates too much, as often indicated on my report card. LOL)

What’s your favorite theme park? Why? (If you’ve never been, which one would you like to visit and why?)

Universal Studio in Orlando, Florida ROCKS! I love the simulated rides; particularly the ‘Back to the Future’ ride. Do they still have that one? LOL)

Are you a reader? What types of books do you like best? What author(s)?

family pics from phone 800_1I consider myself an avid reader when I’m not writing. It really depends on what kind of mood I’m in as to what I like to read.

I’ve been known to enjoy a good sappy love story, a comedy, and even a futuristic sci-fi. Nevertheless, give me a paranormal thriller, a thrilling horror tale and I’m in seventh heaven! Clive Barker, Stephen King, Anne Rice, and John Saul – all rate high on my list.

bwhollowingThank-you Barbara for an interesting and candid interview.  Readers, leave some comments and let Barbara know what you think about her interview and writing.  If you’d like to find out more about Barbara Watkins here are some links:

Barbara Watkins Website

Barbara Watkins Fan Page

Barbara Watkins on Twitter

Books by Barbara Watkins:

Hollowing Screams (Kindle Version)

Hollowing Screams (Paperback)

Mortal Abomination

Awaken Spirit (A Digital Short)

Six-Pack of Blood (with Betty Dravis)

Soon to be released:  Six-Pack of Fear (with Betty Dravis)

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